Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

I love lasagna – but so much work. I have found that baked spaghetti can be the same flavors, but half the work. The problem has been finding a good recipe – so many versions out there and I have tried a lot of them and haven’t found any I like. This one was close.

I do my best to follow the recipe the first time – but the instructions were weird. So I tweaked it…a bit. But knowing what I know in the kitchen, the recipe below is further adjusted for you. I am torn, however. This still layers the mean and spaghetti separately…I may try mixing them all together and just putting the cream cheese mixture in between. You be the judge.

bakedspaghetti

Yields 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 Pound pasta, thin spaghetti cooked al dente
1 1/2 Pound beef, ground chuck
1 Medium onion, white chopped
4 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1/2 tsp salt, Kosher
1/2 tsp pepper, black, ground
8 Ounce(wt)s cheese, cream regular softened
3 Cups cheese, mozzarella (part skim) shredded
1 Tbls parsley, flat-leaf chopped
6 Cups sauce, Lindy’s Marinara Sauce or jarred Marinara

Tools Needed:
Kuhn Rikon Stainless Steel Epicurean Garlic Press
Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid
Simply Calphalon Nonstick 5-qt. Sauté Pan & Cover
Black & Decker MX1500W Lightweight Hand Mixer, White

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet saute the onions and garlic in oil until translucent. Set aside. Add the add the beef, salt and pepper into the pan and cook on high. Saute until the beef is cooked through. Drain fat from beef. Add to the bowl with the onions and garlic. Add in 1 cup of marinara sauce.

Add the cooked spaghetti to the remaining 5 cups of the marinara sauce and toss to combine.

Mix the cream cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese in a bowl – use a hand mixer to mix them throughly.

Add half the pasta/sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Add a layer of half of the beef mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture and top with the remaining pasta/sauce mixture. Top with the remaining the meat sauce mixture.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Uncover, top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Chef’s Note: This would work great with ground chicken or turkey if you don’t eat beef as well. Also, if you want something a little zingier, go for Italian sausage instead of the beef.

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